As a Church school, our vision is that children learn to live life in all its fullness. This fullness involves developing academically, physically, socially, spiritually, morally, culturally, and artistically. Our curriculum is the driver in which we are able to implement the school’s values. The impact of our curriculum will be seen in not only in measurable attainment and progress but that St. Catherine’s CE Primary creates polite, well-mannered caring members of our school community who understand and respect everybody’s differences and needs. Our curriculum is the means by which we engender this development and ensure that our children receive their fair share of the rich cultural inheritance our nation and our world affords. It aims to empower children with the knowledge they are entitled to: knowledge that will nourish both them and the society of which they are members. This cultural inheritance includes the study and practice of artistic endeavour and social and physical skills as well as intellectual thought. Our intention is that through this marriage of values and cultural capital, children are suitably equipped to become interested and interesting adults, able to contribute positively to the well-being of their community and to wider society.
At St. Catherine’s, we intend to have a highly motivating and stimulating curriculum which encourages children to ask questions, be independent learners, collaborate and be aspirational. The curriculum is a way in which we make the learning meaningful for the children.
There is a clear rationale behind our curriculum, and careful thought and planning has gone into each of our areas of learning to allow for concept progression and links. For example, in Years 1 to 6, pupils will be taught either a history or geography focus. Alongside learning about Ancient Greece with a history focus in Year 5, they will have learnt about where Greece is, the climate of Greece and compared it to the UK in their geography. Pupils are then able to make links between subjects, whilst also having clarity about their learning in history and geography, Pupils also revisit ‘bigger’ concepts such as empire and democracy, and using their knowledge organisers are able to revisit their prior learning. There is also a bigger emphasis on vocabulary and reading between subjects. This is so that pupils are clear in the meanings of technical vocabulary that they are learning about, but are then able to able to apply it in other areas of the curriculum. For example, pupils will revisit the word invasion in their history topics consistently so that when it appears in a text such as Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Friend or Foe‘, pupils will know what it means and the meaning behind the word.
The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum (NC) provides both the content and the framework for most of what we teach at St Catherine’s School. In the Early Years, children experience the seven areas of learning required as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which is delivered nationally. In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two children are taught the ‘core’ subjects of English, mathematics, science and religious education (RE) and the ‘foundation’ subjects of history, geography, music, art, physical education (PE), design and technology (DT), Latin, and computing.
We have high expectations of academic achievement. Children are expected to work hard and recognise that each day at school provides the opportunity to gain new experiences, knowledge, understanding and skills. Children do better when parents/carers work closely with the school and we encourage parents/carers to take a keen interest in their children’s education, making learning a part of everyday life.
The EYFS is a very important stage in a child’s life as it helps prepare for school ‘readiness’ as well as preparing them for their future learning and successes. Children’s early years experience should be happy, active, exciting, fun and secure; and support their development, care and learning needs. Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences before the age of five will have a major impact on their future life chances.
The EYFS framework explains how and what children will be learning to support their healthy development and provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. It is very important that they develop social skills, such as turn-taking, sharing and independence, which help them greatly in the next stages of their learning. The guiding principles that shape our practice in the Early Years are that children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.
Phonics teaching and learning are a key part of the Foundation Stage and help to develop early reading and writing skills. If you visited Nursery or a Reception class, you would see a range of activities taking place such as role-play, practical games, painting, cutting and sticking and reading in the book corner. You would also see the outdoor classroom in operation, with equipment such as bikes, cars, sand and water.
Children work and play independently, with a strong emphasis on choice and being able to sustain concentration on projects, as well as joining a variety of adult-led activities. We encourage a partnership with parents so they are actively involved in their children’s learning.
It is our responsibility to ensure that pupils become confident and competent users of the English Language. Our fundamental task is to teach your child to speak, read and write English effectively. Great emphasis is placed upon phonics-based literacy from the outset.
The English Curriculum is delivered using Curriculum 2014 for English for Key Stages 1 and 2. In Foundation Stage the EYFS Statutory Framework.
In all year groups the majority of English work is done in the class, with work being differentiated to match the needs of different children where required. Guided and supported work, alongside interventions are used to support children who are not on track to meet age related expectations or progress targets.
We follow a Mastery approach to English through the programme ‘Pathways to Write.’ Units of work are delivered using high quality texts and children in all year groups are given varied opportunities for writing. Skills are built up through repetition within the units, and children apply these skills in the writing activities provided. Many opportunities for widening children’s vocabulary are given through the Pathways to Write approach and this builds on the extensive work we do in school to provide our children with a rich and varied vocabulary.
You will find the end of year expectations for writing, reading and spoken language for each of our year groups here:
Our phonics in infants follows the Read Write Inc programme. Please follow our phonics link for a wealth of information about this.
Equal attention is given to pupils becoming numerate. Children are taught mathematics through a range of appropriate experiences.
At St Catherine’s, through an alliance with Maths Hubs and research that includes NCETM materials, we have embarked on a mastery approach: a set of principles and beliefs. The NCETM: Teaching for Mastery 2015 states that this:
‘…includes belief that all pupils are capable of understanding and doing mathematics, given sufficient time. Pupils are neither ‘born with the maths gene’ nor ‘just no good at maths’. With good teaching, appropriate resources, effort and a ‘can do’ attitude all children can achieve in and enjoy mathematics.’ (NCTEM: Teaching for Mastery 2015)
We understand that teaching for mastery means that a class works together on the same topic, providing all pupils with the opportunity to master the curriculum and for some to gain greater depth of proficiency and understanding. Mastery is not just being able to memorise key facts and procedures and answer test questions accurately and quickly. It involves knowing ‘why’ as well as knowing ‘that’ and knowing ‘how’. It means being able to use one’s knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations. Rather than accelerating into new mathematical content, children are challenged through a deeper understanding of the same content (mastery in greater depth).
In order to achieve our aim to ensure that learning is sufficiently embedded and sustainable over time, teaching is clearly focused during our daily hour long lesson.
Maths No Problem
Here at St Catherine’s from Years 1 to 5 we use Maths No Problem to enable children to master maths skills. In reception we follow White Rose maths which provides a solid foundation for children moving into KS1 and Maths No Problem. Year 6 also follow White Rose.
Maths No problem is based on the research and lesson approaches used in Singapore.
To find out some more about the fundamental idea behind the structure as well some great videos demonstrating the approach to calculations please follow the link
Art and Design
In art, pupils will learn about some of the most famous pieces of art that have been created and the artists that created them. They will also learn how to produce their own pieces of art in a range of different forms. We place great emphasis on teaching pupils to draw with a structured drawing programme in KS2 that builds up children’s skills over time. We ensure pupils have lots of chance to practice the basics so that they are able to use their knowledge to create their own pieces of art at the end of a unit of study.
We base our Computing curriculum on the Bolton scheme of work which ensures pupils gain a solid grasp of the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to move onto further study at KS3.
Our Design Technology curriculum is bespoke. Pupils take part in designing, making and evaluating a range of different projects. These include projects involving mechanisms such as levers and food technology where pupils learn to bake both savoury and sweet dishes.
History, Geography and Science
We have developed a bespoke knowledge-rich curriculum which gives children access to broad knowledge in subjects such as History, Geography and Science. We have a well sequenced programme that builds knowledge and vocabulary in a well thought out way and ensures that learning is remembered for the long term. We ensure content meets and exceeds the national curriculum. Content is planned so that more difficult abstract concepts are covered in different contexts over time. For example in History children develop an understanding of Monarchy by learning about different Kings and Queens throughout KS1 and 2 to understand hereditary monarchy and a study of the Mayan civilisation which provides a contrasting view of an absolute monarchy. Pupils use their studies in these subjects to develop their writing and many units of work will contain essays for the children to write based on what they have learned.
We have high expectations for what children will know and remember in each subject. See the overviews below for further information.
In Years 1 and 2 children receive specialist music tuition following the Dalcroze Eurythmics teaching and learning process. In Dalcroze Eurhythmics, music is experienced through movement – the teaching and learning process engages body, mind and emotion.
These classes involve children in feeling music through movement and to develop an embodied understanding of music and are excellent pre and co-instrumental training.
Pupils develop the following skills:
- physical awareness and control, including posture; co-ordination;
- listening skills;
- understanding of rhythm and metre;
- awareness of pitch and the ability to be expressive.
Our children in Year 3 take part in a programme of intensive music tuition provided by specialist music teachers to help them learn the viola or cello. Children who work hard to improve their instrumental skills are able to carry on this specialist teaching in a small group in Year 4.
We currently use the well respected Charanga scheme of learning for our music teaching in our other year groups. This is a well structured programme of learning that builds pupils knowledge, skills and understanding in music giving them time to study important pieces of music and also to learn how to create music.
Sport has remained central to both our curriculum and extra-curricular provision. We know this is hugely beneficial to all our children. We have invested heavily with the P.E. and sport provision, with inclusion for all.Our PE curriculum is based around the Bolton Council Scheme of work covering Athletics, Games, Dance, Gymnastics and Outdoor Adventure. Pupils in Y3 undertake an intensive block of swimming instruction.
As children move into Key stage 2, they are introduced to Latin following the Minimus scheme of work, as part of the Primary Latin Project and supported by Classics for All. Our intent for the teaching of Latin is to teach children in a rich, balanced and progressive curriculum, using Latin to support vocabulary development, a deeper understanding of grammatical structures in English and foreign languages and for children to investigate the derivatives of language alongside historical stories.
The teaching of Latin follows a clear progression in line with age-related expectations.
To find our more about how teach Latin please have a look at our Latin page.
Preparing for SAT tests
Children in Year 2 and Year 6 take SAT tests in the Summer term to check how they are progressing with their learning. SATs include tests of reading, grammar and mathematics. At St. Catherine’s we want all our children to achieve good results in these tests as they are good indicators of their general ability in maths and English. While we value the tests, we believe that a broad curriculum helps children to succeed rather than narrowing teaching to focus on English and Maths. We pride ourselves on ensuring that Year 6 children have access to the full range of subjects in the lead up to the tests in May.
If you are interested in find out out more about the SATs please speak to your child’s class teacher. For more information and examples of exam papers you can visit www.sats-papers.co.uk
Our Long Plans
Please see below for details of the plans in place for the school.